The core idea of Ethical Culture, that by eliciting the best of others we elicit the best of ourselves and create a more ethical society, is based on a premise that individuals have worth in and of themselves and are to be treated accordingly. That is not easy to do when people are faced with individuals who have no apparent redeeming qualities or people whose values and intentions conflict with one’s own values and intentions. Recent research into how people make moral choices may provide us with helpful ways to understand how morality works in individuals and the impact of culture on moral behavior. These findings may also point us to helpful strategies for eliciting the best of each other.


Bart Worden is the Clergy Leader for the Ethical Culture Society of Westchester  and the Executive Director for the American Ethical Union. He currently serves on the boards of The Humanist Institute and the Institute for Humanist Studies. Bart also works with The Ethical Community Charter Schools (TECCS) with a study group to support the schools’ ethical education programs. Bart’s recent social justice efforts have focused on addressing bias and discrimination in communities in Westchester County, and he is a member of several civil rights organizations.